Time named its “Person of the Year” on Monday on NBC’s Today Show, and at least one person will not be happy. Yep, you guessed it, but Donald Trump will not be happy. What Trump may find even more galling about the selection is that he is the runner-up to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who Time calls the “brooding muezzin of death who leads ISIS.” After all, Trump would himself like to be the “brooding muezzin of death who leads America,” no doubt. In late November, Trump lobbied for the selection, telling a crowd of supporters in Birmingham, Alabama, “We have somebody from TIME magazine here. You know I was on the cover recently. Now they’re here again, so I assume they’re considering me for man of the year. I say there’s no way they give it to me. They can’t. Because, mentally, they can’t. They just can’t. They can’t do it. Even if I deserve it, they can’t do it.”
Not only couldn’t they name Trump, they didn’t. Trump came in third and didn’t even win “Mr. Congeniality.” Time did not name Trump, or the ISIS leader or even Caitlyn Jenner, but named Europe’s most powerful leader of The German Democratic Republic, Angela Merkel. During this year of 2015, marked the start of Angela Merkel’s “10th year as Chancellor of a united Germany and the de facto leader of the European Union, the most prosperous joint venture on the planet.”
Merkel’s story is compelling and her influence on Europe is stronger than ever, in spite of a slippage in popularity this past year. Two overwhelming reasons that occurred this year compelled the Time editors to give Merkel this nod.
First, Time cited the euro crisis, which involves 19 nations, all of which were endangered by the possible default Greece. Merkel made it through the crisis with great determination and an unwillingness to bend.
The second was Merkel’s government throwing open Germany’s doors to a pressing throng of refugees and migrants; a total of 1 million asylum seekers are expected in the country by the end of December. It was an audacious act that, in a single motion, threatened both to redeem Europe and endanger it, testing the resilience of an alliance formed to avoid repeating the kind of violence tearing asunder the Middle East by working together.
Here is what Time said about Merkel’s handling of the Syrian refugee crisis. Merkel said, “In many regions war and terror prevail. States disintegrate. For many years we have read about this. We have heard about it. We have seen it on TV. But we had not yet sufficiently understood that what happens in Aleppo and Mosul can affect Essen or Stuttgart. We have to face that now.”
In other words, the anti-Donald Trump. The Donald was indeed upset at the news of not being selected? He tweeted his response: “I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany.”
For a moment, Trump forgot he is not running against Angela Merkel, treating her like one of his domestic opponents. Unless, of course, Trump is running at the top of the Nazi Fascist ticket in Germany. On second thought, that party has been outlawed in Germany.